Next, which was thought to be the frontrunner in a race to acquire assets from the collapsed Arcadia Group, has reportedly pulled out of the bidding.
A consortium comprising Next and US investment firm Davidson Kempner Capital Management were teaming up on a potential offer, but has now withdrawn, Sky News reports.
A Next spokesman told Sky News: "Next plc announces that it has withdrawn from the process to acquire any, or all, of the Arcadia Group from the administrator, as our consortium has been unable to meet the price expectations of the vendor.
“Next was bidding as part of a joint venture with Davidson Kempner.
“Next wishes the administrator and future owners well in their endeavours to preserve an important part of the UK retail sector.”
Next withdraws from Topshop race
Sky News suggests that Next’s withdrawal could clear the way for Chinese fast-fashion retailer Shein to buy Topshop and Topman in a deal worth more than 300 million pounds.
Other bidders thought to still be in the race to acquire Arcadia’s assets are Boohoo, Asos and Authentic Brands Group, which has linked up with JD Sports Fashion.
Arcadia called in administrators from Deloitte at the end of November after its sales took a big hit from the pandemic, putting some 13,000 jobs at risk. The high street giant had around 444 UK stores at the time.
This week it emerged that administrators of Arcadia will permanently close 31 of the group’s stores by the end of January, resulting in some 714 redundancies.
The closing stores include the entire 21-store estate of Arcadia’s Outfit brand, The Times reported.
In January, Arcadia’s administrators sold the Evans brand, e-commerce and wholesale business to rival City Chic Collective Limited for a cash consideration of approximately 23 million pounds.
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